Where We Are Going Today: ‘The Lucky Llama’ restaurant in Jeddah

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Churros. (Photo/Instagram)
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Sake Sour. (Photo/Instagram)
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Chef Nihal Felemban. (Photo/Instagram)
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Updated 13 April 2024

Where We Are Going Today: ‘The Lucky Llama’ restaurant in Jeddah

  • Situated in the Al-Mohammadiyyah district, The Lucky Llama was established by chef Nihal Felemban

The Lucky Llama, a fine-dining restaurant in Jeddah, specializes in Nikkei cuisine, which combines culinary elements from Peru and Japan.

This unique style blends the colors, flavors, and aromas of both countries to create a harmonious dining experience.

Nikkei cuisine showcases the delicate and imaginative aspects of Japanese cooking alongside the bold and spicy flavors of Peru.

Situated in the Al-Mohammadiyyah district, The Lucky Llama was established by chef Nihal Felemban.

The cozy interior features plush seating, soft lighting and rustic decor, creating a welcoming ambiance.

I began with the salmon crispy rice, a blend of crispy rice, spicy truffle sauce, Norwegian salmon and jalapeno slices for a spicy kick. Each bite offers a harmony of flavors and textures, with the rice crunch complementing the buttery salmon.

To cleanse my palate between dishes, I chose the sake sour, a refreshing mix of sake, lime, yuzu and green tea syrup.

The nigiri menu stands out with vibrant flavors.

The scallop nigiri delighted with its rich umami taste, enhanced by truffle butter, parmesan and black lime zest.

My main course, the arroz con langosta, featured bomba rice, tom yum Nikkei broth, lobster and prawns — similar to paella but with a unique fusion twist.

For dessert, I enjoyed the sweet churros coated in cinnamon sugar, dipped in creamy dulce de leche.

The welcoming staff and top-notch service elevate the cozy ambiance. For more details, visit @theluckyllama.co on Instagram.


Recipes for success: Chef Thomas Jean-Paul Pascal Colette offers advice and a special salad recipe

Updated 21 June 2024

Recipes for success: Chef Thomas Jean-Paul Pascal Colette offers advice and a special salad recipe

DUBAI: French chef Thomas Jean-Paul Pascal Colette has worked in Michelin-starred kitchens in Paris and influential eateries in Moscow. He is now chef de cuisine at The St. Regis Red Sea Resort’s overwater restaurant Tilina.  

Colette says his grandmother, also a chef, was the inspiration behind his passion for cooking. “I always helped her, and it became quite natural that, when I was around, like, 12, if I was alone at home, I would try to cook something for myself, or for my family,” he tells Arab News. 

Here, he discusses common kitchen mistakes, annoying customers, tips for amateur chefs and shares a special salad recipe. 

Tilina at The St. Regis Red Sea Resort. (Supplied)

When you started out, what was the most common mistake you made? 

Seasoning. I started out in a Michelin-starred restaurant, and there, it wasn’t just salt and pepper. It was all about the balance in the dish, so you also need to think about the acidity and things like that. So at the beginning it was quite complicated. Every time my chef tried something I made, he was, like, “No, it’s not good. It’s missing this, this and that.” 

What’s your top tip for amateur chefs? 

Don’t be scared to experiment, and don’t be scared to fail, because, actually, many great dishes came from failure. So try and enjoy it — that’s what cooking is all about. 

What one ingredient can instantly improve any dish? 

Many chefs will say it’s love — because you need to care about and love what you are doing. But for me, it’s salt. Seasoning is so important. Even if you have the best ingredients, if you don’t season them, they’ll lack flavor.  

When you go out to eat, do you find yourself critiquing the food?  

No. Even if there’s something wrong, I would never tell the chef. If I see a mistake on the service side, or if there is food I don’t like, I would just try and learn from it to prevent my own customers from experiencing it. 

Tilina at The St. Regis Red Sea Resort. (Supplied)

What’s your favorite cuisine?  

It’s really about the chef, not the cuisine. If I want to go to a restaurant, then I’ll find a chef that I want to try, so it will be either be a set menu or his signature dish. And when I go back to France, I have to have a nice steak tartare. 

What’s your go-to dish if you have to cook something quickly at home? 

Pasta. You can play with it so much — you can make it with fish, with meat, with vegetables… Boil some water, put some pasta in, and see what you have in the fridge: maybe some shrimp, some tomato, a little bit of garlic and parsley. That’s perfect. 

What customer behavior most annoys you? 

Asking to change an ingredient in a dish. When I make a dish, it’s all about the balance. So, if you take out one ingredient, then the idea behind the dish doesn’t make sense anymore. I really try to avoid doing this. I’ll go and talk with the guest, and rather than change the dish, maybe try to do something special for them, something else that they would like. 

What is your favorite dish to cook? 

Seafood. This was my childhood in Normandy: When the sea was low on Sundays, we would go and pick up fresh fish. We’d go back home and cook them very simply, with a little bit of garlic, parsley, cream, and that’s it. So seafood always reminds me of this time. 

As a head chef, what are you like? Are you strict? 

You can’t run a kitchen without discipline, everyone needs to be focused during service. But, I don’t believe that discipline comes from shouting, it comes from mutual respect.  

Chef Thomas’ Red Sea Salad recipe 


500g heirloom tomatoes; 3 Carabineros prawns; 10g chives; 10g salmon roe; 5g gelatine leaves; 1 egg yolk; 100g grapeseed oil or sunflower oil; 10g olive oil; 1 lemon; 50g parsley (leaves)  


For the tomato jelly  

1. Process 250g of tomatoes in a blender. Once the mixture becomes smooth, strain it through a cheesecloth. 

2. Place the gelatine leaves in cold water. 

3. Take 50g of the tomato mixture and heat to 50° C. Add the gelatine, let it melt and then add the rest of the tomato mix. 

4. Pour 80g of it into each of three bowls and place in refrigerator. 

For the tomato tartare  

1. Boil 1L of water. 

2. Using a small knife, make a small cross at the bottom of the remaining tomatoes. 

3. Put the tomatoes in the boiling water for 10 seconds, then put them in iced water, remove the skin and dry them with a paper towel. 

4. Cut the tomatoes into four, remove the insides to get tomato petals. (Keep the insides for later, they can be used for a sauce.) 

5. Chop the tomato petals into cubes of 0.5mm. 

6. Finely chop the chives. 

7. Mix the tomatoes and chives with 5g olive oil, the juice of half a lemon, and salt, then place in the refrigerator. 

For the marinated prawns  

1. Clean the prawns. (Tip: If you keep the heads and the shell they can be used in a sauce or soup later). 

2. Chop the prawns in 1cm cubes. 

3. Mix the prawns with 5g olive oil, the juice of half a lemon, and lemon zest. Let them marinate for 10 minutes.  

For the parsley mayo  

1. Warm up 100g of grapeseed oil to 72°C, then pour it into blender with parsley leaves and mix for two minutes. 

2. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth. 

3. Put 1 egg yolk, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk while slowly adding the parsley oil. 


1. Take your plates of jelly out of the refrigerator 

2. Place a circular disc on the jelly and put 1.5cm of tomatoes and 1.5cm of marinated prawn inside. Remove the circle. 

3. Finish with a few dots of parsley mayo and a few dots of salmon roe. 

Recipes for success: Chef Yann Lohez offers advice and a tasty tomato salad recipe 

Updated 20 June 2024

Recipes for success: Chef Yann Lohez offers advice and a tasty tomato salad recipe 

DUBAI: French chef Yann Lohez has spent 15 years working in five-star hotels across the world, with stints at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, Geneva’s Kempinski Hotel, the Evian Resort in France and now The St. Regis Riyadh, where he is the executive chef.  

His passion for cooking began in the quaint countryside school where his mother cooked for 80 children. 

“Every morning, during the break between classes, my classmates would ask me to go to the kitchen and ask for the menu,” Lohez tells Arab News. “I would rush to the kitchen and smell the food. I have all these memories in my head and it stuck in my DNA.”  

The St. Regis Riyadh. (Supplied)

The first dish he tried to make on his own, he recalls, was mayonnaise.  

“My grandmother always made egg noodles for Sunday lunch, and my task was to make the mayonnaise. It’s a great memory. I remember this dish was amazing,” he says. 

Here, he discusses his favorite dish and his top tips for amateur chefs. He also shares an heirloom tomato salad recipe.  

The St. Regis Riyadh. (Supplied)

When you started out, what was the most common mistake you made? 

I faced a lot of challenges, especially when making pastries. For pastries, you always have to follow the recipes and you have to follow the technique. And as a cook, you make the recipes yourself. It was difficult for me to follow a proper recipe. Cooking is more about the sense and the feeling, but for pastries you have to follow the recipe exactly to get the right consistency. It was challenging. I always say I’ll never be a pastry chef because I don’t want to follow all these recipes. That was my challenge. 

What’s your top tip for amateur chefs? 

Let’s take steak for example. When people are cooking at home, they take the steak from the chiller and put it straight in the pan. This is a mistake. You need to keep it at room temperature for at least 20 minutes. When the protein is in the chiller it is very hard, so you need to make it more tender. And you definitely need to add some marination. You add the sauce, the olive oil and some spices in order to overload it and allow the spices to turn into fiber. Only then do you cook your steak. 

Greek Mezze. (Supplied)  

What one ingredient can instantly improve any dish? 

It’s not an actual ingredient. It’s patience. And love. Whoever you’re cooking for — you, your family, your friends or even for customers — without passion you cannot achieve the right dish.  

When you go out to eat, do you find yourself critiquing the food?  

Not really. I always go to the restaurants to enjoy, not to give criticism. It makes me happy to explore different cultures, different food and different ways to cook. And it gives me inspiration.  

What’s the most common mistake you find in other restaurants? 

It’s about how you engage with the guest. Sometimes the waiter is too close or too eager to interrupt. When I’m in a restaurant, I want to be free and enjoy the food and not be disturbed every five minutes.  

When it comes to food, I’m French, so I like my meat to be rare. It’s difficult in this part of the world to get rare meat. It needs to be not cooked on the inside, but hot. Very few restaurants make steak the way I like it. 

Slow braised beef checks orzo ragout. (Supplied)

What’s your favorite cuisine? 

I don’t really have one. I’m very open-minded about food and food culture. I think it’s the best way to get new ideas. I love Indian food. I love Arabic food. I love Asian food. When I go back to France, I love to have traditional slow-cooked meat or something buttery or creamy.  

What’s your go-to dish if you have to cook something quickly at home? 

Omelet. It is very, very fast for me to make. I am very passionate about it also because my father raises chickens and I always get organic eggs. I think it’s the best way to get the right protein as well. An omelet gives you power throughout the day. It really takes five minutes to make. You can make it with anything, whatever you have at home. 

Wild ceps Aquerello risotto aged parmesan. (Supplied)

What request by customers most annoys you? 

Sometimes the guests do not respect the team. Mistakes can happen. We take the opportunities to learn from our mistakes, but there is no point in showing a lack of respect to anyone. 

As a head chef, what are you like? 

To answer this, I’ll tell you a bit about my background. As I told you, my mother was a chef, but my father was a military policeman. So I learned that discipline is very important to get things done right. However, with this new generation, it’s very important to be fair and to be close to them. You need to lead by example. That is what is most important. I’ve had chefs who shout a lot, but this mindset doesn’t work anymore. I don’t shout in the kitchen. I’m strict, but I want to be close with my team. That’s the secret of success.  

Chef Yann’s heirloom tomato salad recipe 

Chef Yann’s heirloom tomato salad recipe. (Supplied)



160g goat cheese; 10g honey; 2g Espelette chili  

For the Bloody Mary jelly: 0.5L tomato juice; 5 drops Worcestershire Sauce; 2 drops tabasco; 10g vegetal gelatin; 2g celery salt  

For the heirloom tomatoes: 1 beef heart tomato; 2 Black Krim tomatoes; 1 green zebra tomato; 2 yellow pineapple tomatoes; 8 cherry tomatoes; 1/2 bunch chervil; 1/2 bunch dill; 4g oregano salt; 2g three pepper mix  

For the basil oil: 200ml extra virgin olive; 1/2 bunch basil leaves  

For the Kalamata soil: 50g kalamata olive; 50ml balsamic cream sauce   


1. In a small bowl, mix goat cheese, honey and chili with a fork. 

2. Roll four balls of 80 grams each. Wrap each of them in a 15cm x 15cm square of cling film. Close it by bringing the four corners together and turning to get the shape of a tomato.  

3. Put the four balls in the freezer for three hours, until they turn hard, then remove the plastic and insert a skewer into each. Keep in the freezer until your Bloody Mary jelly is ready. 

For the Bloody Mary jelly 

1. Heat all the ingredients for the Bloody Mary jelly in a pan and whisk until the jelly becomes smooth.  

2. Soak the goat cheese balls in the jelly on their skewers until you get a red, shiny color. 

For the heirloom tomatoes 

1. Cut all the tomatoes into different shapes. 

2. Keep four green tomatoes for decoration. Fry them for 30 seconds. 

3. Seasoning is important. Add salt and pepper five minutes before plating. 

4. Use the chervil and dill leaves for decoration. Dry them, along with the tomatoes, for five hours at 60 degrees.  

For the basil oil 

1. Put the basil leaves and the olive oil in a mixer and blend. Strain the oil through a coffee filter to get clear green oil. 

For the Kalamata soil 

Dry the olives for five hours at 60 degrees (same as the tomatoes). When they harden, allow to cool, then mix until you get a powder. 


The plating is always a chance to bring your creativity to the stage. My only advice is to reflect nature on the plate. Start with the beef heart tomato slice in the middle as a base for your goat cheese balls. Don’t forget to add a tomato stalk to them to create ‘realistic’ tomatoes. Create a garden around this with the rest of the tomatoes. Add olive dust and a dot of balsamic cream sauce for the acidity. The dish should be served at room temperature. 

How extreme heat threatens health and safety

A visitor to Stone Lake in La Porte, Ind. on Tuesday, June 18, 2024 wades through the lake with her dog. (AP)
Updated 20 June 2024

How extreme heat threatens health and safety

  • The more serious version is heatstroke, when the body’s core temperature goes above 40.6 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit)

LONDON: With extreme heat gripping much of the Northern Hemisphere this week, authorities and public health experts have issued heat warnings to help keep people safe.
Parts of China, India, the Middle East, southern Europe and the United States are bracing for the possibility of new record highs.

Heat affects health in several ways.
Heat exhaustion, which can include dizziness, headaches, shaking and thirst, can affect anyone, and is not usually serious, providing the person cools down within 30 minutes.
The more serious version is heatstroke, when the body’s core temperature goes above 40.6 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit). It is a medical emergency and can lead to long-term organ damage and death. Symptoms include rapid breathing, confusion or seizures, and nausea.
As climate change continues to drive temperatures upward in coming years, the danger of humidity is also expected to rise. Warmer air can hold more moisture. And more moisture in the air makes it harder for people to sweat to cool down.

Some people are more vulnerable, including young babies and older people, as well as people who must stay active or are more exposed, such as homeless people.
Existing conditions, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, as well as diabetes, can also heighten risk — and be exacerbated by heat.
Many countries do not record heat as a specific cause of death, which means we do not have statistics to gauge this risk on communities.
However, a 2021 study in The Lancet estimated that just under a half-million deaths can be attributed to excess heat every year — a conservative count that lacks data from many low-income countries.
Many in Europe fear a repeat of the 2022 summer, during which heatwaves killed an estimated 61,000 people, scientists said.
The risks will continue to rise as climate change pushes global temperatures even higher in coming decades.
Apart from testing a body’s internal thermostat, extreme heat can pose a host of other, secondary risks.
Warmer temperatures encourage the growth of bacteria and algae. So heatwaves can raise the risk of water being contaminated with diseases like cholera, or of water bodies becoming choked with toxic algae.
Heat can also damage crops, adding to concerns about food security.
Starting from 2030, experts expect that global death tolls will increase by 250,000 per year as a result of four climate-related health risks: heat stress, malnutrition associated with food insecurity, malaria, and diarrhea, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Wildfires fueled by dried-out trees or shrubs can lead to dangerous levels of air pollution, which can cause lung inflammation and tissue damage.
Studies have also suggested that both extreme heat as well as exposure to wildfire smoke could also be linked with low birthweight and premature births.
Heat stress can also contribute to poorer mental health. Rising night-time temperatures can disrupt people’s sleep patterns, worsening mental health outcomes.

Experts say more deaths occur earlier in the summer when people’s bodies have not had a chance to acclimatize to the season.
Location matters, too; people are at higher risk in places where they are not used to such heat, including parts of Europe.
As outdoor work becomes dangerous amid high temperatures, some countries and communities have shuttered schools or forced a shortening of daytime work hours for businesses.

Public health agencies from India to the United States have issued advice on keeping cool, including avoiding exertion where possible and staying hydrated.
Authorities often aim to help by setting up cooling centers, distributing extra water or providing free access to air-conditioned public transport.
Workers should think about having more breaks and changing their clothing too, scientists said.
It is important to check in on the vulnerable, including older and isolated people, they said.
Heatstroke is a medical emergency and requires immediate professional attention.


Classic meat dish returns to Jazan tables

Mahshoosh has stood the test of time, maintaining its prominence among the various dishes that grace the Jazan table. (Supplied/
Updated 19 June 2024

Classic meat dish returns to Jazan tables

  • In the past, locals prepared mahshoosh to preserve sacrificial meat in the absence of refrigeration

MAKKAH: The arrival of Eid Al-Adha signals the return of mahshoosh, or Al-Humais — a traditional dish beloved by Jazan locals that is deeply rooted in the region’s cultural heritage.

Mahshoosh has stood the test of time, maintaining its prominence among the various dishes that grace the Jazan table. Its preparation is seen as a revival of an age-old tradition dating back to a time when there was no refrigeration. Local people relied on this dish to preserve the meat from their Eid Al-Adha sacrifices.

Once the meat and fat are cut up, the fat is slowly melted and meat added gradually. (Supplied/Visit Saudi)

While the dish is most associated with Eid Al-Adha, it can be savored throughout the year. Its name stems from the method of preparation, which involves finely chopping meat and fat into small pieces, a process referred to as “Al-Hash” in the local dialect.

The recipe for mahshoosh has been passed down through generations, with women in Jazan taking great pride in preparing it. Once the meat and fat are cut up, the fat is slowly melted and meat added gradually. After the addition of spices, the dish is then left to simmer for several hours with occasional stirring.


• While mahshoosh is most associated with Eid Al-Adha, it can be savored throughout the year.

• Its name stems from the method of preparation, which involves finely chopping meat and fat into small pieces, a process referred to as ‘Al-Hash’ in the local dialect.

Finally, the cooked mixture is transferred to a clay container, where it solidifies and can be preserved for several months without losing its flavor.

Lard and meat are chopped up and cooked together to create the rich delicacy. (SPA)

Chef Ahmed Issa Shetifi from the Sabya governorate said mahshoosh was invented out of necessity when people had no means of preserving their food. Cooking it with lard extended the shelf life of the meat.

Preparation methods varied from one household to another, with some families adding only onions while others would include spices such as cardamom and cinnamon.

According to Shetifi, proper preparation involves roasting the lard before the meat is added. The lard pieces should be large, as they dissolve faster.

He added: “This custom continued even after people had refrigerators to store meat and food. In fact, some families still store mahshoosh in rooms or under their beds, where it lasts for a week or ten days before being consumed.

“Later generations began storing it in pots in the refrigerator while others use designated bags, each containing one meal, and keep them in the freezer.”

Mahshoosh is very high in calories and is typically served only during Eid Al-Adha, he said: “Some families dedicate the entire Eid sacrifice to preparing mahshoosh. While it can be enjoyed in moderation, eating it in excess poses a risk of high cholesterol due to its high-calorie content.”

Mahshoosh is typically served with bread, although some people prefer to eat it with rice. It is also part of the traditional Jazan dinner.


What We’re Doing Today: derma transformations at ‘Skin Laundry’ in Riyadh

Updated 18 June 2024

What We’re Doing Today: derma transformations at ‘Skin Laundry’ in Riyadh

Skin Laundry has quickly become the trendiest spot to get your skincare fix since it opened in Riyadh a few months ago, luring curious customers in with its clean aesthetic and unusual skincare services. Hailing from sunny Los Angeles, championing the slogan “These are not your average facials,” the branch situated in Riyadh’s UWalk is the first to pop up in Saudi.

If you’re new to the skincare world, it’s recommended that you get a consultation before booking a service. Among their friendly staff members are Dr. Fatimah Albader, a dermatology and aesthetic consultant, and Dr. Mohammed Hamdan, an aesthetic dermatologist, who are happy to give their two cents on what your skin needs and answer any questions.

This Eid Al-Adha vacation is the perfect time to give your skin the treatment it needs to combat the exhausting heat — and to come back to work or school looking your best.

Usually administered by their lovely nurses who make you feel comfortable and right at home, the services range from hydrating facials and skin cell boosters to fillers and Botox.  

Skin Laundry specializes in innovative laser technology and aesthetic dermatology, including their HIFU Ultraformer III, which is a non-surgical high-intensity focused ultrasound method of lifting facial tissue and removing unwanted fat. Clients can opt to tighten and firm anything from loose forehead skin to sagging knees and thighs.

The international chain is known for its signature laser facials, and rightfully so. The deep-cleansing treatment removes oil, dirt, and bacteria while improving pigmentation and boosting collagen. The treatment is safe for all skin types with no downtime and leaves your skin with an immediate glow, while the fractional laser facial reduces fine lines and improves skin texture and hyperpigmentation. Both only take around 15 minutes overall.

The HydraFacial is a great way to achieve instant radiance. The process involves a water suction tool to remove all the underlying dirt and buildup under the skin’s surface, exfoliating and purifying the pores. It’s also followed up with lymphatic drainage, a blue and red LED light therapy session, and specific antioxidant and peptide products that promote healthy skin.

Aside from fillers and Botox, their injectables include Innovyal injections, which require three sessions and promise to reduce the appearance of dark circles.

Skin Laundry also offers a range of their bespoke product line as well as tiered “Laundry Club” monthly membership options. While their services are on the pricier side, the results and warm welcome of the staff make it all well worth the price.